Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beaver Lake Nature Center

Yesterday, a friend and I drove to Central New York, to visit Beaver Lake Nature Center.  Neither of us had been there before, so we were curious to see what it had to offer.  We weren't disappointed.  The center itself is very nice,  with a little exhibit area inside that has many examples of the local birds and animals of the area.  There's also a little gift shop, full of all kinds of instructional and fun stuff.
There are sensory gardens.
And, gardens that are a riot of plants, both wild and domestic.
When we set off on the trails, we found them to be wide, level and cushioned with mulch, making them very easy to walk on.  This old tree was by one of the first trails we walked, the Woodland Trail.  I wonder how many years it has seen?
It's a lovely little lake.  Right now there aren't many birds on it, but, in migration season, they say that it is covered with many migrating water birds.  We may just have to come back and see that.

I was particularly excited because there were many plants that I had either seen rarely, or not at all.  Along the woodland path the Jack in the Pulpit was growing, amidst a huge patch of poison ivy, so I couldn't get too close.
I didn't even know that there was such a thing as Red Elderberry, but, there it was.  The first picture is clearer, but the color is off.  The second picture is a truer indicator of the bright red hue of these berries.

In places, the trails came close to the water.  In the water was a new plant for me, American Water Willow.  These pretty little purple and white flowers look like miniature orchids.  Water Willow is sometimes said to be a nuisance plant, but others say that it is a great plant for holding the soil near the shore together, and preventing it from slipping into the water.
But, it was the Bog Trail that I found most interesting, because except for last fall in the Adirondacks when everything was done blooming, I hadn't had a chance to explore one before.  I wasn't disappointed, and saw a number of new to me plants.
Arrow Arum Plant was everywhere.
Spatterdock, or Yellow Water Lily was a new plant for me.
You'll have to look closely, but, about in the middle of this picture that is a purple flower, growing out of the water.  I'm not sure what it is, though I'm wondering if it could be some kind of hyssop?  I know it's a poor picture to try and identify anything from, but, it was pretty far away and that's the best I could do. 
Per Woodswalker, this little flower is Pickerel Weed.

This native wild rose, called the Virginia Rose, was also new to me, though I knew of their existence.  It was wonderful to see a place where these delicate beauties hadn't been overwhelmed by that much more vigorous invader, the Multiflora Rose.
These two fish, lazing in a small creek that ran through the bog, were the only critters we saw.  Though, we did hear many different birds, everywhere we walked.  They were too shy to get pictures of, however.
This center well utilized, and there were many people and cars around, in spite of the fact that it was a chilly Wednesday.  I was very impressed, and we plan to go back again in the Fall, to walk the Lake Trail, which is three miles around the entire little lake.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with a question.  This little flower was in the sensory garden.  It was labeled as Feverfew, and I thought it was lovely and would love some in my garden.  But, when I look it up, the flower, while similar, isn't the same.  Can anyone confirm that this is, indeed, Feverfew?


Upupaepops said...

cannot commend on the compound aster-like flower

We have Red Elder here, it is native in western washington In eastern we have bluew elder as well

The berries are always setting around the 4th of July

texwisgirl said...

looks like a neat place to explore (and bring a field manual of native plants!) i'm terrible at plant i.d.

Dreaming said...

Oh, thanks for the trip. I enjoyed it - what lovely pictures!

You are right that the Feverfew looks different.... but it is similar. Were the flowers just beyond their time, maybe?

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

what a lovely peaceful place...the little fish looked hungry! ;) i am not an expert on flowers either sorry!

Madi and Mom said...

Oh my goodness what a beautiful place to visit and take a walk.
I agree you should go back during migraton. The center is very well maintained and the plants and wildflowers are so pretty.
That must have been a perfect day trip.
Hugs Madi and Mom

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Louise what a beautiful place to visit, there's so much to see, I don't know how you knew where to start taking pictures and looking around!

Woodswalker said...

Looks like a lovely place for a walk. Thanks for taking us there through your photos. That purple spike out in the water is Pickerel Weed, and yes, I believe that is indeed Feverfew. Perhaps a variety with paler disk flowers.

Horsin' Around said...

What a beautiful spot! Thanks for the tour.